The Texans went into Soldier Field knowing that they needed to come out on top in an effort to try to win-out and avoid their first losing season since 2017. They didn't do it.
Playing with key contributors out on both sides of the ball, they almost came through with a thrilling victory last week. This week, they couldn't keep up with a Chicago team that was starving for victory and put together a terrific performance in all phases of the game.
The Bears had lost six games in a row but had gotten off to a 5-1 season start, thanks in large part to stingy defense. That side of the ball came through for them Sunday as Houston couldn't finish drives, giving up 7 sacks and fumbling once (and once on special teams).
Somehow Mitchell Trubisky put up better numbers than Deshaun Watson, who still kept his QB rating above 100 (for the 9th time this season, a new franchise record).
Former Texans QB Dave Ragone is the passing game coordinator for the Bears. Trubisky took good care of the football in a carefully constructed game plan that called for some quick passes over the middle and targeted Alan Robinson 13 times for a nine catch, 123-yard (and a TD) day.
The Texans got to Trubisky for three sacks, two by Eric Murray, but it wasn't enough as he threw three TD passes and didn't turn it over. The Texans defense is stuck at eight takeaways, which is last in the NFL and a huge reason why despite some good moments in recent weeks, the results aren't what they're looking for.
The offense came into the game at 8th in the league in taking care of the football. The two turnovers today didn't lead to scores but they did stop possessions and the Texans need all the touches they can get.
It was probably too much to ask to have Watson continue to carry the load with his four top wide receivers and starting running back unavailable. Houston did manage to get the rushing total over 100 yards but a chunk of that was when the game was basically out of reach.
The Texans have had only four losing seasons in the last 14 years. There aren't too many teams that can make that claim but it hardly makes anyone feel any better.
The Colts are up next and there is an opportunity to make them miserable. That, and playing strong, getting a good look at who might be able to help next year, is plenty of a motivator to look forward to the match-up.
This loss to the Bears is another in a series of 2020 disappointments that the Texans would like to put in the rearview mirror as quickly as possible.
The Houston Texans roster in photos. (Updated 3/2/2021)